September 26, 1996 · Cavalier Daily


This opinion article argues that partial-birth abortion constitutes murder. He cites what he believes to be myths regarding abortion, including that the anesthetic before abortion kills the fetus, and that abortions are performed to protect the pregnant woman's health and body.


1996-09-26 Cavalier Daily Misinformation.pdf
Sam Waxman
Cavalier Daily
Cavalier Daily
PARTIAL-BIRTH abortion is murder. There is no other way to describe the ghoulish procedure that kills thousands of late trimester babies each year.
As the Senate takes up the hill to override Presdent Clinton’s veto on banning the procedure, it seems eminently necessary to debunk some of the most frequently-cited myths about the procedure.
First, the procedure is not, as the National Abortion Federation claims, performed only when a women’s [sic] life is in danger.
The doctor who invented the procedure, the nation's main practitioner of the technique, was caught on tape admitting that 80 percent of his partial-birth abortions were "purely elective."
More disturbing is the anesthesia myth. The American people learn from Planned Parenthood and other pro-choice groups that it is not the partial-birth abortion that kills the baby, but the anesthesia administered to the mother before the procedure.
Almost immediately after that claim was circulated, it was decisively and thoroughly denounced by the American Society of Anesthesiologists. Yet, just the floating of the myth was enough to send pregnant patients running terrified to their doctors, concerned that epidurals during labor, or anesthesia administered during needed surgeries, would kill their babies.
The most disturbing and baseless statement about the procedure was uttered by Clinton himself when he said that if the women who chose partial-birth abort tons had delivered their children normally, the women’s bodies would have been "eviscerated" or "ripped to shreds" and they "could never have another baby."
According to four prominent non-partisan gynecologists and obstetricians quoted in the Wall Street Journal, that claim is completely false.
The doctors went on to say, "Contrary to what abortion activists would have us believe, partial-birth abortion is never medically indicated to protect a women's health or her fertility. In fact, the opposite is true…”
Consider the risks and dangers associated with the procedure, which typically occurs after the fifth month of pregnancy.
A woman’s cervix is forcibly dilated over a period of several days, which risks causing a complication known as "incompetent cervix” — the leading cause of premature deliveries.
The abortionist then reaches into the womb to pull the child out feet first, but leaves the head inside. Normally, the doctor would avoid a breech birth wherever possible: in this case he intentionally causes one — and risks tearing the uterus in the process.
He then forces scissors through the base of the baby’s skull, which remains just within the birth canal.
This is a partially blind procedure, with the sharp scissors jabbing dangerously close to the uterus, cervix and the lower uterine segment. A puncture or cut of any of those areas will result in immediate and massive bleeding and the threat of shock or even death to the mother.
The worst part about it is that none of that is ever necessary. Not for any of the reasons or conditions cited by Clinton and the abortion lobby.
Not for hydrocephaly (excessive cerebrospinal fluid in the head), not for polyhydramnios (an excess of amniotic fluid collecting in the woman) and not for trisomy (genetic abnormalities characterized by an extra chromosome).
Indeed, former Surgeon General C. Everett Koop's reaction to the president's veto: "I believe that Mr. Clinton was misled by his medical advisers on what is fact and what is fiction."
Such a procedure, he added, cannot truthfully be called medically necessary for either the mother or — he scarcely needed to point out — for the baby. You do not have to be pro-life to be disgusted by partial-birth abortion.
Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan said that it was “too close to infanticide" for his liking.
Indeed. the only thing that separates partial-birth abortion from being prosecutable murder is three inches — the length of a baby’s head.
While many support a woman's right to choose, it is hard to support the systematic and needless murder of thousands of children every year. And it is important to think about the stage of development in the third trimester.
In the fifth to sixth month. the baby's eyes are opening and its feet and hands are visible. This is a child, averaging one-and-a-half pounds, that can survive outside the womb with the help of modern science.
The four doctors who wrote to the Wall Street Journal summed the realities of partial-birth abortion best when they said, “Considering these medical realities, one can only conclude that the women who thought they underwent partial-birth abortions for ‘medical' reasons were tragically misled.
And those who purport to speak for women don't seem to care."
And the blood of a thousand innocents is truly on their hands.
(Sam Waxman’s column usually appears Wednesdays in the Cavalier Daily.)
Date Added June 12, 2016
Date Modifed December 24, 2017
Collection Cavalier Daily: articles about gender discrimination

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